Ken Davidoff, of Newsday:
Owner Drayton McLane's outlook always fascinates me. He just doesn't believe in rebuilding, not after a series of second-half runs for contention (2004, 2005, 2006, 2008). That's why the 'Stros are only mildly dead. Loose change: Oswalt wishes he would qualify, but again, because of McLane's philosophy, Oswalt won't come cheaply. If Houston actually did become sellers, then Ivan Rodriguez, Miguel Tejada and LaTroy Hawkins all could have value.
Or Tom Verducci:
Think your team that stumbled through the first two months can still make the playoffs? Think again. While we all might easily remember the comeback of the 2005 Astros, who began June at 19-32 and wound up in the World Series, the reality is that teams that are bad for the first two months tend to remain bad.
Then some stats, courtesy of Verducci:
There have been 104 teams to make the playoffs in the 13 full seasons of the wild card era. Exactly three of them, or 2.9 percent, were worse than five games below .500 when June began. Here are the three outliers:
1. 2005 Astros (19-32 start; 89-73 final record).
2. 2007 Cubs (22-29; 85-77).
3. 2007 Yankees (22-29; 94-68).
So has the Astros' recent history clouded the vision of this franchise? Do you, on some level, hope the Astros completely nut this season to speed along a reframing of the franchise? Or are you okay with the "Hang on and Hope for the Best Until 2012" philosophy?